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Deli Debate

Michael Pollan, Evan Kleiman, Willow Rosenthal, Gil Friend, and the owners of Saul's discuss the future of the traditional Jewish deli in an era focused on sustainability.


Saul's Restaurant and Deli

Saul’s Restaurant and Deli in Berkeley will be hosting a moderated panel discussion on the future of the Jewish deli menu. The tantalizing question of the day: can a retro cuisine be part of the avant-garde? Karen Adelman and Peter Levitt, co-owners of Saul’s since 1995, say that providing traditional deli fare while being mindful of sustainability is a tricky and sometimes untenable proposition. A few of the changes they have made include serving smaller sandwiches, making their own seasonal soda, using handmade instead of processed rye bread, and taking a seasonal and regional approach to their menu. Oh, and they’ve stopped serving salami entirely until they can find a source that meets their approval. To some patrons, the implementation of these changes has rendered Saul’s virtually unrecognizable as a Jewish deli. Can these two sides come to an understanding?

Along with Saul’s co-owners, panelists include: Michael Pollan, journalist and author (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food); Gil Friend, CEO of Natural Logic and author (The Truth About Green Business); Willow Rosenthal, founder of City Slicker Farms. The moderator will be Evan Kleiman, host of KCRW’s “Good Food,” and owner-chef of Angeli Caffe in LA.

Tuesday, February 9, 6 p.m., Jewish Community Center of the East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. Tickets are $10 in advance from saulsdeli.com, and $15 at the door. Proceeds benefit The Center for Ecoliteracy: ecoliteracy.org. A reception will begin at 6pm, and the discussion starts at 6:30pm.